Friday, April 1, 2011


My heart has been shattered by discrimination this evening. I'm mad. I'm hurt. I'm shocked that people can be so ignorant in this day and age.

Our son was singled out in a group of his peers and embarrassed. Left to feel as if something is "wrong" with him because of his medical state, which he and/or we have no control over in the grand scheme of things. I believe God created our sweet boy just as he wanted. He's been perfectly created, just like each and every one of us. Tonight, my eyes and heart have been shown that not everyone believes in this. Teachers, instructors of a children's program, included. I can't even put into words how much this hurts me. To hear the words "What's wrong with him?" loudly spoken across a small gym filled with parents, siblings and my children's classmates, by the instructor who was now pointing at Wyatt asking questions that were not appropriate to be asked in front of these other families. The phrasing so hurtful. Drawing attention to the young child that just wants to participate but is now feeling anxious and unsure of the situation.

After unexpectedly sitting in the hospital all afternoon we hurried ourselves to the first TaeKwonDo class. The TaeKwonDo class that Maggie and Wyatt have been looking forward to for weeks. This program is provided through our local YMCA. We made sure to talk with one of the instructors weeks in advance to make clear the situation and be sure that he'd be able to participate. We were told it would be fine, however he'd not be able to earn his black belt. Which made me chuckle, as earning a black belt is the least of our worries! He just wants to participate, be involved. Included. He was so stoked for this class.

After the first confrontation in the very beginning of the class, the instructor then approached us again, in the middle of the class. It only got worse. At one point this arrogant man had the audacity to say "I don't have to work with you." In which I responded, "Yes, you do." We're paying this uneducated man, for goodness sakes, and my child has every right to be in there, standing and participating, just as much as the rest of the children in his class. We understood the risks involved, this man was not liable for anything that should happen, we made that very clear. All we wanted was for our son to be able to participate. That was it. He didn't have to earn belts or take the tests...just participate. And we were told that was too much to ask.

I plan to take a stand on this. To thoroughly inform the YMCA who they are supporting and what injust act was shown this evening. I'm disappointed. I'm heartbroken for my son who had such discrimination openly inflicted upon him. Yes, he may have tubes extending from his body, but he is like any other 8 year old boy in mind and spirit. Our 8 year old boy who knows he has challenges that other children do not, but chooses to put a smile on his face everyday, enjoying what he can and wanting to live his life with no boundaries. And I will fight for him to do so.
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  1. I am heart broken and outraged with you!!

  2. Don't let this instructor keep Wyatt from trying Taekwondo or any other martial art. If you find a true martial artist (one that isn't in it for the money) you will find an instructor who will not discriminate against any student. I have been a martial artist since I was 7 and until I moved to Iowa I taught a chidren's TKD class at my dojang. No instructor in our dojang would have done what this instructor did. Make sure you let the YMCA know exactly how this person treated Wyatt. I have no doubt you'll do just that though!

  3. I am sorry Wyatt and you all faced such awful human behavior. My heart is saddened for you. My guess is that it is much harder on you then him....not downplaying just hoping that makes it a little better:(. For sure tell ymca and pursue a class elsewhere. Don't let the jerk win!

  4. I am sitting here crying for Wyatt being treated like this. There is no excuse under the sun for anyone to act like that, much less someone who is in the martial arts. I wish that you lived closer, because where my 2 take karate the instructor will teach anyone who willing to learn.

    Wyatt is perfect the way that God made him, and when others can't see or understand that, then they are the ones that people should feel sorry for, not Wyatt.

  5. That instructor needs to be fired! I would stay on top of the YMCA and if you have to talk to a lawyer. That's just not right. I think I would have slapped the guy!

  6. I would say something to the Y too. That was unacceptable. I have taken martial arts for a number of years and we have worked with people all sorts of needs. Just like someone said earlier. If they are not in it for the money they will make the accommodation for your child.

    I'm sorry you guys had to go through that.

  7. This is terrible!!!! I'm so so sorry. I hope you do take this to the YMCA, usually they are very good with children who have special needs! Our YMCA was extremely accommodating of the few weeks that we asked to let Eithene participate in toddler ballet (this was 2 years ago). I was very happy with them. I'm so disgusted and upset to hear this type of behavior from an adult acting as a role model for children. Unacceptable!!!! I'm so very sorry Wyatt had to go through this.

  8. WAAAAAY unacceptable!!! I worked with the YMCA organization for years at a YMCA and a YMCA camp, and that sort of discrimination and rudeness is COMPLETELY against EVERYTHING the Y stands for. PLEASE be sure you talk to the YMCA and not let this go unnoticed by the local facility!!! TERRIBLY sad. This man has no ness workign with ANY kids if he has a heart like that!!!
    On a much more important note. I am so, so, so, sorry you have to see your son intentially hurt like this. My prayers are that your hearts will heal and love will conquer.

  9. Gosh, that's so awful. I'm so sorry you had to endure that. That is No. 1, top on my list for why I hate my son's CP — not the inconveniences to him, but how the world will see him as "less than." Isn't that awful? I should be much more concerned with the impact to *HIM* than the impact to others. Good for you for knowing what's right and I hope you wrote that letter.
    From TRDC